The Latest Microsoft Azure Updates: BERT; Media Services; Azure Stack partners; Cosmos DB
As Microsoft closed out its fiscal year, it continued to show strong revenue growth from cloud, although the some analysts have noted a "deceleration" with Azure, which dropped to 64 percent year over year growth from 73 percent last quarter.
Microsoft subsidiary LinkedIn made waves when it announced that it will finally migrate to Azure within the next three years. The organization famously maintained its own data centers in Singapore, California, Oregon, Virginia and Texas. In an interesting example of increasing cross-system development, Bing engineers used Azure Machine Learning to train Google's BERT natural language processing model, in part with 2.5 billion words drawn from Wikipedia.
So far, Microsoft has built up a healthy 360,000 registered Bot Service developers and is witnessing an explosion in usage of virtual assistants and bots running on Azure. During Microsoft Build, the company announced the Direct Line Speech channel, which is in preview for developers. It uses an on-device SDK in a bid to simplify speech communication to a bot and serves as a Bot Framework channel for lower-latency "voice-first scenarios." Haim Sabo, software engineer for Azure Storage Media R&D, highlighted how customers can upload sentences and vocab with Video Indexer for Azure Media Services. Enhancements over the past few months include an API or manual transcript edit capture or the option to add closed caption files.
Azure Storage is now encrypted by default with no unencrypted option and as a result, the Azure team is removing recommendations to enable encryption.
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